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Issues & Controversies in History
Facts On File/Infobase Learning is hiring historians and writers on a freelance basis to contribute original articles to Issues & Controversies in History, a database in world history targeted to high school and college students. Each article will focus on a specific question encapsulating a debate or conflict in global history. Compensation is provided for all articles upon acceptance.
Most topics will be considered and can be geared to a historian's field of expertise. Among those still available are Disease, Economy, Empire, Environment, Gender, Human Rights, Imperialism, Labor, Migration, Race, Religion, Revolution, Slavery, Technology, and War. Both traditional and nontraditional subjects are being sought, and topics in the historian’s field of expertise are welcomed. ESPECIALLY SEEKING TOPICS ON Colonialism, British Commonwealth Nations (Australia, Canada, India, etc.), Asia, Latin America, and non-Western History.
Issues & Controversies in History places students at the center of the great debates and conflicts in global history. It brings history to life not as a mere recitation of names and dates but as a set of turning points where the future hung in the balance and opinions raged on all sides. By exploring the issues as the key players saw them, or, in some cases, as historians have interpreted them, the database will build a deeper understanding of how historical events and conflicts have shaped world history. In the process, it will teach students to analyze primary sources and answer document-based questions.
The goal of Issues & Controversies in History is to present history as a dynamic process of controversies, conflicts, and issues that people debated and experienced and ultimately made choices about. The “issues and controversies” approach will help personalize the engagement with global perspectives, reminding students and educators that world history doesn’t have to take a distanced point of view, but rather can also be about linking local individual actions and events to the larger global experience. Students will learn that in spite of the vastness of the past, the daily lives of individuals also comprise the building blocks of world history and that the choices made by individuals—be they rulers, merchants, farmers, or slaves—have shaped world history for thousands of years.
Each article poses a single historical question and is presented in pro/con format. Some of these focus on specific controversies and events (e.g.: Ancient Rome: Should Rome Restore a Republican Form of Government or Become an Empire?; Ashoka: Was He a Benevolent Buddhist and Idealist, or an Ambitious Autocrat and Shrewd Empire Builder?; The Haitian Revolution: Did This Uprising Successfully Advance or Thwart the Cause of Human Rights?; Polygamy and Lobola in Natal: Should the Colonial Government Use Its Legal Power to Change African Customs?; Ending World War II: Should President Truman Drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan?). Other articles focus on broader historical issues and comparative questions (e.g.: Creation Myths: Were Ancient Origin Stories Derived from Observations of Nature and Interpretations of the Cosmos, or Were They Reflections of Human Society and the Need to Sanction Political Authority?; World Religions: Did Merchants or Missionaries Play a More Critical Role in Spreading Early Religions?; The Mayan Empire: Did It Decline Because of Internal Dissent or Environmental Change?; Europe’s “Dark Ages”: Were the Early Middle Ages an Era of Crisis or of Continuity?).
The pro/con sections of each article are document-based. The author needs to gather these primary sources (or excerpts) and quote them as evidence to argue and "prove" specific points. These sources can include traditional documents, such as speeches, letters, manifestoes, newspaper articles, etc., as well as innovative and graphic ones, such as editorial cartoons, statues, posters, paintings, coin inscriptions, tomb engravings, etc.
Each article provides all the essential information to enable a student to both understand the issue and its significance and answer the question in specific world history contexts. Every article contains an introductory highlight box summarizing the issue and the two competing positions; a narrative essay providing historical background of the issue/event; an argument section presenting both sides of the controversy, with quotations from primary sources used as evidence to support each position; a selection of primary sources (on which the arguments are based and which are referenced and quoted in the article); a chronology; two sidebars; discussion questions; bibliography; and a “what if” section contemplating what could or might have happened had the alternative side prevailed.
As a whole, articles are designed with an aim toward achieving a balance among historical eras and the broadest possible coverage of geographical regions and peoples worldwide. All eras and global regions are open and available, but non-Western regions are particularly being sought.
Facts On File/Infobase Learning is currently seeking authors for this exciting new database, and many articles are still available. If you are interested in being an author or would like more information, please contact Andrew Gyory, Ph.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org Facts On File, 132 West 31st Street, New York, N.Y. 10001.
Andrew Gyory, Ph.D.
Facts On File
132 West 31st Street
New York, N.Y. 10001